Federal Agencies Take Actions Aimed at Reducing Construction Emissions

Recently, federal agencies have taken a number of actions aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the construction industry. ABC continues to track these initiatives while participating in the regulatory process to ensure that the need to protect our environment is accomplished without imposing unnecessarily costly and burdensome requirements on the construction industry. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on Jan. 19 it is seeking input on an Inflation Reduction Act program that will provide $350 million in funding for lowering the levels of embodied carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production, use and disposal of construction materials. The EPA is hosting three public webinars to engage stakeholders on this issue, as well as issuing a Request for Information:

  • March 2, 2023, 2-3:30 p.m. ET—Reducing Embodied Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Construction Materials Prioritization and Environmental Data Improvement Register here
  • March 22, 2023, 2-3:30 p.m. ET—Reducing Embodied Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Grants and Technical Assistance for Environmental Product Declarations Register here
  • April 19, 2023, 2-3:30 p.m. ET—Reducing Embodied Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Carbon Labeling Register here

Additionally, President Joe Biden’s administration is pursuing a new “Buy Clean” initiative, which aims to reduce emissions by directing federal agencies to purchase lower emission construction materials and encourage states and local governments to do the same in federally assisted construction. The General Services Administration previously issued a Request for Information on this program.

Finally, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council issued a proposed rule to require certain federal contractors to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions and set GHG emission reduction targets. Federal contractors receiving between $7.5 million and $50 million in federal contracting obligations in the prior fiscal year would be required to inventory their annual GHG emissions and disclose this information to the federal government, while contractors receiving over $50 million in contracting obligations would also be required to make publicly available CDP climate disclosures and set targets for reducing GHG emissions.

Contractors that fail to comply with these requirements would be deemed nonresponsible and ineligible for federal awards. Comments on the proposed rule are due by Feb. 13, 2023, and may be submitted via regulations.gov. ABC will be submitting comments in opposition to the proposed rule’s expansion of federal authority and imposition of unnecessarily burdensome new requirements on federal contractors.

Please reach out to Michael Altman at [email protected] with any comments or questions on any of these initiatives.